Thursday, November 23, 2017
Alice's Restaurant," Arlo Guthrie's beloved musical ode to garbage, small town policing, and military conscription, celebrates many anniversaries. The song its full name is "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" has its conception on Thanksgiving Day, 1965, when Guthrie, then 18, and friend Rick Robbins, 19, were clearing out the Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home of Alice and Ray Brock.
Fittingly, it was a Thanksgiving feast prepared by Alice that started the events memorialized in Guthrie's song--a work that capsulized a young generation's disaffection with bureaucratic stupidity, resonated as an anti-war anthem and still captivates audiences with its simple melody, gentle narrative and infectious chorus. On that fateful holiday, a dozen or so young guests overnighted in sleeping bags on the church's first floor sanctuary -- the Brocks occupied the bell tower. Appreciating the hospitality, Arlo, on Thanksgiving break from his first (and last) semester as a Montana college forestry major, decided the least he could do was help clean up.
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